BMW's renaming and repackaging strategy means that the car that would have been a 335i
convertible a year ago is now called the 435i. Regardless of what it's called, BMW's midsize
four-seat convertible retains the spirit that infuses all of BMW's premium-class, race-
The 435i convertible is riding on an all-new chassis to go along with its updated
nomenclature, of course. Though the evolutionary restyling bears a strong family
resemblance to its predecessor, the 435i is dramatically improved. Chassis stiffness has
been improved by forty percent, while almost fifty pounds were shaved from the curb weight.
New features like integrated seatbelts and all-wheel drive also help to set the 435i apart.
Short overhangs and an update of BMW's family styling make the 435i immediately
recognizable, while hiding a stretched wheelbase and an overall increased in vehicle size.
The new convertible shows off a smooth body. The retractable hardtop shares lines with the
coupe, but has a more delicate look and a lighter interpretation of the signature BMW
"Hofmeister kink" in the C-pillar. The 435i has strong lines, with the headlight units
blending smoothly into the twin-kidney grille and strong character lines along the body.
The look is emphasized by large, powerful wheels. Top-down, the 435i convertible is svelte
and muscular, hinting at the performance it's capable of. The rear deck was influenced by
The retractable hardtop means that the interior environment isn't that much different from
the coupe, with comfortable seating for four. The dash, with its round gauges and free-
standing iDrive screen riding front and center, is the same as that of the 4 Series coupe.
The 435i convertible's wheelbase is actually two inches longer than that of the coupe,
providing additional space for rear-seat passengers that's not encroached upon by the folded
top. The three-piece top lowers in twenty seconds at the touch of a button, and new neck-
warmers help to ensure that the 435i provides an entertaining top-down experience even if
the weather's chilly. Optional folding rear seats provide additional trunk access, and
cargo space is up by almost a full cubic foot. Additionally, a "loading assistance" system
enables space in the trunk to be accessed even when the top is down. In the event of a
rollover crash, pop-up roll bars deploy in just 200 milliseconds. The 435i also features
seatbelts that are integrated with the front seats, a feature borrowed from the 6 Series
convertible. BMW's Sport, Luxury and M Sport trim packages are available, allowing the
interior to be personalized to any owner's taste.
A range of infotainment features comes courtesy of BMW's ConnectedDrive suite of driver
aids, and includes the available navigation system, head-up display, pedestrian-detecting
Active Driving Assistant, and active cruise control with a stop and go feature. Bluetooth
connectivity with voice commands and speech recognition is also available.
Two powertrains are offered: the 428i, with BMW's new 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder,
and the more powerful 3.0 liter inline six in the 435i. The 428i produces 240 horsepower,
and its lightweight engine provides a blend of efficiency and performance. The 435i is the
E-ticket ride, with 300 horses and seemingly endless torque from the twin-turbo straight-
six. BMWs' Valvetronic variable valve control is standard. BMW has put an emphasis on
efficiency as well as performance, so the 435i features direct fuel injection as well as a
standard stop-start system that shuts the engine off at traffic lights. 0-60 takes about
5.5 seconds in the 435i. An eight-speed automatic transmission puts the power to the road.
BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive is also available.
Out on the road, even though it's a hardtop convertible, the 435i handles quite well. BMW's
signature double-pivot front, five-link rear suspension provides immediate response and
great feedback; this car is very rewarding to drive fast, as are most BMWs. The track has
been widened slightly compared to the coupe. It's a little bit rear-heavy, even with all-
wheel drive, but still offers the connection to the road that we've come to expect from BMW
without sacrificing comfort. The brakes are powerful and confident even without the
available M Sport suspension upgrades.
Pricing for the 4 Series convertibles starts at $49,675 for the 428i and $55,825 for the